I'm on my fourth
week of half-marathon training. Today, I had to run "40 minutes in heart
rate zone 2," which I have taken to calling a "40 minute Z2 recovery
Each one of the runs
on this Garmin half marathon training schedule include a "5-10 cool
down" segment, which I have taken to just interpreting as "keep
running for another 5 to 10 minutes." It's an easy way to squeeze an extra
mile into your workout for no reason other than, hey, let's go nuts. So, today,
I went nuts-er than usual and ran the full 10-minute cool-down in addition to
the 40 minutes prior, for a grand total of a 50 minute Z2 recovery run.
Put your calculators
down, I'll help you with the math. I averaged 7:22 per mile, which is not
particularly fast for running in general, but as a recovery pace, it's a little interesting.
But what makes it really interesting is how it compares to my
recovery runs from the last few weeks. I kicked off this half marathon schedule
with a recovery run, and I ran it at an 8:10-per-mile pace. Granted, I had
really high blood sugar that morning, but still, if that were my Z2 benchmark,
I've almost increased my recovery pace
by a minute per mile.
here is every recovery run pace charted against date, with a trend line added
so that you can better see how I'm improving:
Not too shabby,
considering that the overwhelming majority of workouts on this schedule so far
have been recovery runs. I'm about done with Z2 -- psych! There's still more
than twelve weeks of this to go!
But I'm not really
getting tired of it; after all, it's working.
The data is right there. Aside from
that, my qualitative analysis is that these runs are getting easy. I know
they're easy runs to begin with, but they feel like strolls to me now. I feel
as though I could go outside and Z2 myself all the way to Abilene, if I had to.
Double entendre intended.